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Fracture toughness tests were performed on annealed austenitic stainless steel AISI 310S, immersed in liquid helium at 4 K, using 25-mm-thick compact specimens. The JIc results (360 to 380 kJ/m2) from single- and multiple-specimen test techniques are compared and shown to be in close agreement. Attention is called to the remarkable failure process of this steel at 4 K: Crack extension occurs by ductile tearing, while the test records exhibit serrations due to repeated bursts of unstable plastic flow and arrests. The nature of this behavior is discussed, and the performance of stable austenitic AISI 310S is compared with that of related steels, including those that transform from austenite to martensite during testing at 4 K.
austenitic stainless steel, cryogenic properties of materials, fracture of materials, J-integral tests, low-temperature properties, stainless steels, elastic-plastic fracture
Metallurgist, National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, Colo.